GOP chairman eyes floor action for CHIP next week

GOP chairman eyes floor action for CHIP next week
© Greg Nash

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg WaldenGregory (Greg) Paul WaldenOvernight Energy: Pruitt heading before House | New EPA policy aimed at easing lawsuits against oil, gas | Trump hits OPEC for high prices Overnight Health Care: GOP in retreat on ObamaCare | Drug pricing fight heads to the states | PhRMA spends record amount on lobbying Overnight Health Care: Maternal deaths rising in US | Judge rules against Trump officials for ending teen pregnancy funds | Rep. Ann McLane Kuster on her sibling's struggle with opioids MORE (R-Ore.) said on Thursday that he is aiming to bring a six-year reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to the floor next week.

Speaking to reporters, Walden pointed to new Congressional Budget Office estimates as the catalyst that broke the logjam over funding for the program, which covers 9 million children.

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“If we go to six years, it may have no cost,” Walden told reporters. “The good news is you can do six years and it costs you nothing.”

Funding for CHIP has been stalled for months amid partisan fighting over how to pay for the program.

Its reauthorization could be attached to a short-term government funding bill that must pass before Jan. 19. Broader leadership negotiations, however, will determine whether the reauthorization is ultimately tied to the bill.

Walden also said the legislation would likely not include funding for community health centers or any other Medicare “extenders.”

“At this point it would just be CHIP. I’d like to do it all if we can, but we believe that CHIP could move forward,” Walden said.